10 Steps to Improve Listening Situations For Hearing Impaired

Listening situations can be very difficult for hearing impaired individuals. Here are some tips to help improve your listening experience.

1. If you need hearing aids wear them. They can take some time to get use to but can improve listening situations.

2. Have your hearing aids serviced regularly. This can help to maintain the sound quality ensuring your hearing aids are operating optimally. 

3. Plan ahead. If you are going out to eat try a restaurant with good lighting. If you are in a meeting try to find a spot where you can see all attendees well. Ask to be seated away from high traffic areas. Avoid poorly lit noisy areas.

4. Be assertive. You may need to tell others how you prefer to communicate. Telling people to look at you while they are speaking, to enunciate, to not mumble and to not speak to loud are all suggestions to improve the listening situation. Tell them not to shout as this can distort speech. 

5. Pay attention to the speaker. Look for visual cues to assist with filling in gaps. If possible watch the persons lips as they speak to watch the formation of their words. 

6. When necessary use assistive listening devices. Most hearing aid manufacturers will make secondary devices that you can use with your hearing aids to improve listening situations. One of which is a microphone that you can ask a speaker to wear. This would stream the speakers voice directly to your hearing aids. Some public places such as movie theatre's will provide some form of assistance. This could be in the form of headphones, a loop system, or closed captions. 

7. Try to manage background noise. Find a nice quiet place to communicate if necessary.

8. Try Aural Rehabilitation exercises. These exercises can improve your listening skills. Exercises like reading out loud to yourself every day with out back ground noise initially and introducing background noise as you continue can help build listening skills. You are reading so you know what words you should be hearing and processing. Another exercise involves reading along with audio books which can help you match the words you are hearing to the ones you are reading.

9. See you hearing professional regularly. Follow their recommendations for getting your hearing retested. Ask your hearing professional to adjust your hearing aids if there are changes to your hearing loss.

10. Join a support group. Joining a support group can help you share experiences, find resources, or further develop listening skills.




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